Name after name came to mind. I wrote each name in my journal. As I wrote one name another would come to mind. As I visualized one person, another face would appear in my mind. Name after name after name. People I have not thought about in years. Names I had not spoken in prayer in a long time. Several journal pages later, I moved on to things. Church things. Life things. Business things. Health things. Friendship things. Commitment things. Deadline things. Sermon things. Mixed in with the things were more names that came to mind. Marriages. Children. Relationships. Money.
Two hours and several more pages later I clicked my pen and closed my journal. If I missed you, or your children, or your great-grand children, or your surgery, or you great-uncle-step-daddy's hip replacement, I assure you I was not intentional.
I share that experience not to impress you with my depth of spirituality. I've already said some of these people have not entered my conscious mind in years, and arising at such an early hour to spend two hours in prayer is not common practice. Nor do I share this with you to say you should feel honored that I mentioned you in my prayer. However, I must admit that it was quite a good feeling when I finished. I share it with you for two reasons.
First, to remind you that on any given moment, day or night, as you are awake or asleep, someone is probably praying for you. I did. Not all by name, but you were included in a statement of gratitude for those who read my articles. I left it to the Lord to sort through all the names.
Second, to remind you that at any given moment, day or night, as they are awake or asleep, someone needs you to pray for them. Someone needs you to take their needs, their pain, their disease, their broken heart, their family, their marriage, their sinful behavior, or their discouraged spirit, before the throne of God.
The Bible tells us:
But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things (Mark 6:33-34 NIV).
We are blessed that Jesus had compassion on us and responded to our needs. We are blessed when people have compassion on us and respond to our needs. We can bless others when we have compassion on other people and lift them up to the throne of God.